You do exceptional things in the classroom every single day. NCTE is here to recognize them.
NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award
2021 Recipient: Jonda C. McNair
The Ohio State University
Dr. Jonda C. McNair is the Charlotte S. Huck Endowed Professor of Children’s Literature at The Ohio State University. She specializes in literature intended for youth with an emphasis on books written by and about African Americans. She is a past chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and was a member of the 2019 Randolph Caldecott Award Selection Committee. Jonda recently completed a term as chair of the 2021 John Newbery Award Selection Committee. She is a former coeditor of the Journal of Children’s Literature and Language Arts, the journal of the Elementary Section of the National Council of Teachers of English. Her work has appeared in journals such as Review of Educational Research, The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Young Children, The Journal of Negro Education, and Children’s Literature in Education. She is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Library Association, and the International Literacy Association. Jonda is a former elementary school teacher of students in grades K–2.
The NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award (APCL), established in 2007 and first presented in 2008, is a special award given to an NCTE member of color who has made a significant contribution to NCTE and the development of our professional community. We remind nominators, nominees, and selection committee members that members of NCTE Conferences—CCCC, CEL, ELATE, LLA, and TYCA—are members, by definition, of NCTE.
Deadline May 1
To promote and support the advancement of communities of color in the profession and contribute to promoting equity and dismantling racism.
Frequency/Number of Awards:
This award will be bestowed only when the APCL Selection Committee decides a nomination warrants presentation of the award. The composition of the selection committee includes POC from various groups within the Council, e.g., caucuses, affiliate groups, and assemblies. This award may not be given each year. This award may be given to a deceased person. Only one recipient will be selected each year.
Current NCTE Executive Committee members are not eligible for this award. Recipients for this award are not eligible to receive any other Executive Committee approved awards in the same year, nor in the following year.
People of color refers to historically underrepresented groups: African American, Black Diasporic communities, American Indians, Asian Americans, Latinx, and Pacific Islanders. The APCL Selection Committee will consider nominations from current NCTE members. The Executive Committee will approve the committee’s selection. It is customary that recipients of this award have a significant history of advancing POC in NCTE-affiliated venues and platforms and have held membership in NCTE for many years.
Required materials for submission are a cover letter or letter of nomination and a resume/CV.
The bold statements are the award criteria. The remaining statements are intended to describe some of the possibilities suggested in the criteria and are not intended to be rated individually. Please remember that different individuals have different levels of access to various opportunities (for example, small rural and urban vs. large rural and urban contexts).
Significant Contributions to NCTE:
- Service contributions supporting NCTE and advancing individuals and communities of color (national, regional, local, and campus levels as well as conferences, affiliates, assemblies, caucuses, etc.)
- Elected roles
- Advocacy and program support
- Writing/presenting/editing/reviewing at NCTE-affiliated conferences/publication venues that contribute to literacy research, development, and innovative practice related to issues which disproportionately affect people of color
Development of Our Professional Community:
Professional communities focused on activities/work/processes that promote and support the advancement of communities of color in the profession, contribute to promoting equity and dismantling racism in their community locally, nationally, and in NCTE, in literacy-related activities, and in public engagement. Literacy learning can be varied (e.g., global, national, regional, and local/campus)
- Developing district/state/national curriculum
- (Co-)research with community members
- (Co-)publish with community members
- Advocacy of policy and practices that influence and advance understanding of equity and antiracism
- Professional development
- Offer professional development school/training for community members
Strong candidates tend to show strength in all areas.
The NCTE President appoints one Executive Committee member to serve as Chair and four NCTE members-at-large from relevant NCTE groups.
- A plaque is given to the recipient during the NCTE Awards Session.
- The recipient will also receive:
- A complimentary NCTE Annual Convention registration
- Domestic round-trip coach airfare to the NCTE Annual Convention
- One-night lodging (Friday) with meals
Application Deadline May 1
The application period for 2022 is now closed.
Please contact NCTEAwards@ncte.org with any questions.
Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award Previous Recipients
2020 Tonya B. Perry, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2019 David E. Kirkland, New York University
2018 Valerie Kinloch, University of Pittsburgh
2017 Alfredo Celedón Luján, Monte del Sol Charter School, Santa Fe, NM
2016 Kris D. Gutierrez, University of California, Berkeley
2015 Violet J. Harris, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
2014 Keith Gilyard, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
2013 Vivian Vasquez, American University, Washington, DC
2012 Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University, East Lansing
2011 James L. Hill, Albany State University, Georgia
2010 Maria Franquiz, University of Texas, Austin
2009 Arnetha Ball, Stanford University, Stanford, California
2008 Victor Villanueva, Washington State University, Pullman